Tuesday, March 24, 2015


On courtesy of:


1. It never goes out of style: Fashion is constantly repeating itself, so why waste money on new reproductions of old styles when you can wear the old styles themselves

2. It is one-of-a-kind: While this is not completely true, you’ll still be hard pressed to find someone wearing the exact same piece, albeit, in the same way.

3. It can be inexpensive: I’m no Daddy Warbucks and while I’m waiting on my lottery winnings, I’ll spend my coins on the inexpensive vintage that I love. There is higher-end vintage and when my winnings come I’ll buy those pieces as well

4. It has a unique smell: So I know I’m probably alone on this but I love the way Goodwill and Salvation Army stores smell. It’s intoxicating and gets me amped to go through racks after racks of clothes

5. It’s environmentally friendly: I’m not the biggest eco-champion, but I try to do my part. And wearing vintage recycles clothing and stops wasteful spending

6. It reminds me of my Mom: My mom introduced me to fashion and vintage clothing and while our styles differ greatly, flea markets always remind me of our Saturday trips when I was younger

7. It’s like jumping in a Time Machine: Let’s do the time warp again! Playing dress up with vintage clothing is like stepping back in time and being someone else for a day

8. It’s the Thrill of the Hunt: Finding a gem out of a hundreds of pieces is like a modern day treasure hunt and makes it much more treasured

9. It’s a great Business Model: There are thousands of vintage business stores because there are millions of vintage pieces floating around the world and Read #1 and #2

10. There’s so much Variety: Vintage encompasses so many eras and time periods that there is a style for all types of vintage lovers; 40’s retro, 80’s hipster, 20’s flapper and the list goes on

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

JET – Real Deal or Something Else????

On courtesy ofhttps://silverfoxantiques.wordpress.com

Victorian Period Real Jet Watch Fob

Jet has been used used in jewelry in Europe since 10,000 to 17,000 B.C. , though it is more often associated with  Queen Victoria’s mourning dress after the death of Prince Albert.  While many think of Whitby jet, it is found in a variety of places and has even been used by the Anasazi Tribe in America.  There are many substitutions for real jet, the most common being glass, though hard rubber , ebonite or vulcanite, bakelite coal, epoxy resins have all been used in the past.
The Romans used jet in jewelry during much of their 367 year of occupation (43 AD to 410 AD) of  Britain. Roman workshops dotted the landscape where it was found. believing it deflected the evil eye with it’s mystical properties.  As a result it became popular for use in hair pins, bracelets, brooches, rings, pendants, dagger handles and other jewelry.  Most was exported from Eboracum (York) all other Roman Britain and Europe.  After the Romans left Britain the use of jet in jewelry declined.  It is interesting to note that when an excavation of a Eboracum (York) railway station foundations occurred, an entire Roman workshop was discovered for Jet!
1920’s glass flapper necklace ..beads are glass not real jet

Jet shows up in the Medieval Ages mainly for the use in rosaries. It next became fashionable in the Victorian Period after the death of Prince Phillip.  Whitby Jet for carved in many forms and pieces of jewelry then, but they 1920 the craft had declined once again.  Glass was also molded to form a suitable substitute, as well as other materials by then, as it was in such demand.

variety imitation “jet” buttons from different eras

Jet is know by many names.  In French “jais” or “jaiet”; in Spain “azabache” which come from a moorish word “cebeche” meaning “Black stone”.  The moors wore a jet “higa” or phallic hand to protect them from the evil eye, it continues in places to this day.
Jet is not actually a “stone”, or true mineral, but a mineraloid.  It comes in two forms “hard” and “soft” jet.  Hard jet is the result of carbon compression and salt water.  Soft jet is the result of Carbon compression and “fresh” water.  It  is due to the anaerobic fossil  of the tree Araucaria cells which have been flatten by huge pressure (compression) over time and subjected to chemical changes. This process started during the Jurassic Period 150 to 180 Million years ago.
Jet has a:
  • refractive index of 1.64 – 1.68
  • specific gravity 1.3 -1.4
  • Mohs scale 2.5 – 4 .0
  • Carbon 75.2 %
  • Hydrogen 7.0%
  • Nitrogen 0.7%
  • Sulphur 4.6 %
  • Oxygen 12.5 %
Whitbey Jet also contains other proportions of aluminium, though Spanish jet has a higher percentage of sulpher.
detail of 1950’s “jet” glass beads

To tell if Jet is REAL;
  • jet is warm to touch, glass is cold
  • jet is light
  • jet leaves a brownish color streak on unglazed porcelain
  • jet will smell like coal when burnt with a red hot needle..be very careful as jet does burn
  • jet can exhibit a static electricity charge if polished.
  • jet may contain imperfection such as tiny cracks or inclusions.
  • Jet is black.
  • Jet will look hand carved, NOT CAST or MOLDED!
mark on unglazed porcelain.. note some other materials will also do this, but the hot pin test emits a “coal” smell, but must be done carefully as jet will burn.

For jet and other vintage and antiques:

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

What is St. Patrick’s Day About?

On courtesy of:

Much of what is known about St Patrick comes from Testimony, (which was allegedly written by Patrick himself). It is believed that he was born in Roman Britain in the fourth century, into a wealthy Romano-British family.

At the age of sixteen, he was kidnapped by Irish raiders and taken as a slave to Gaelic Ireland.   It says that he spent six years there working as a shepherd and that during this time he "found God". After making his way home, Patrick went on to become a priest.

  • According to History.com, St. Patrick's Day has been celebrated by the Irish for over one thousand years. Wearing green became popular between the late 1840's and 1850's as many Irish people immigrated to America.

    According to popular legend, St. Patrick was originally celebrated because he drove all of the snakes from Ireland (there were no snakes there). 

St. Patrick performed many miracles during his lifetime.  While most holidays celebrate the birth of a famous figure, March 17th is the day that St. Patrick died in the 5th century.

One of the symbols associated with St. Patrick is the three-leaf clover or shamrock. According to popular legend, St. Patrick used the shamrock while ministering to the people of Ireland to illustrate the Christian Trinity.

St. Patrick's Day incorporates everything Irish and those pesky leprechauns. Leprechauns are mythical creatures who stem from Irish fables.

 They are commonly associated with St. Patrick's Day, not only due to the Irish connection, but they are also talked about whenever there is a rainbow, you will find their gold at the end.

It is is a day of Celebration with a huge Parade, Wearing of the Green, 
Corned Beef and Cabbage, and best of all... Green Beer!

Did you know???
Saint Patrick's color was blue, not green, say historians. It can still be seen on ancient Irish flags. Blue was used on armbands and flags by members of the Irish Citizen Army who attempted to end British rule in 1016.

The use of green began during the 1798 Irish Rebellion when the clover became a symbol of nationalism.  The "wearing of the green" (clovers) on lapels combined withIreland's lush green fields made blue a thing of the past.